Finding the right antidepressant could be easier with genetic test


The burgeoning field of pharmacogenomics — how genes affect a person’s response to drugs — is helping more patients avoid debilitating and all-too-common side effects of psychiatric medications.

More than 1 in 20 American, ages 12 and older, are struggling with depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And many more are suffering from sometimes severe side effects, like weight gain, nausea, sleepiness and sexual problems.

[Avera Institute for Human Genetics’] pharmacogenomics research has led to the development of Genefolio, a genetic test that uses an individual’s unique DNA to predict how that individual will respond to medications. The test offered by Avera is $179 and is often covered by insurance.

Research pharmacist, Krista Bohlen, director of personalized pharmaceutical medicine at the [AIHG], believes that genetics play a large role in how different individuals react to certain medications, but cautions doctors and patients against relying solely on this method for answers.

According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic that looked at one genetic test similar to many used in hospitals — GeneSight Psychotropic — symptoms of depression were reduced by 70 percent compared to treatments prescribed without genetic testing.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Finding the Right Medication: Gene Test May Help Treat Depression

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